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Gainesville HR splitting off in coming fiscal year
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Tax watch

Government agencies are presenting their proposals for the fiscal year 2015 budget that begins July 1.

Gainesville: Human Resources Department

FY 2015 request: N/A

FY 2014 budget: $587,442

What’s new: Priorities for the 2015 fiscal year include performing a multiyear audit and attracting and retaining high-quality employees.

The Gainesville Human Resources and Risk Management Department will go it alone in the coming fiscal year, but its mission and funding priorities won’t change much. 

Formerly a division of Administrative Services, Human Resources will be split off as a separate general-fund-supported agency next year.

In this fiscal year, the department has a budget of about $587,000. 

City Manager Kip Padgett, citing only slight increases in tax revenue, has directed all departments to hold their budgets flat in 2015. 

Human Resources has spent the better part of the current fiscal year implementing a new drug-testing policy, which went into effect March 1.

The city formerly administered random drug tests for transit workers and other jobs that require a commercial driver’s license. 

The new policy extends testing to include police officers, firefighters, plant and equipment operators, lifeguards and other employees who operate city vehicles.

The department has also begun implementing a quarterly reporting system for workers’ compensation claims data, among others, and it should be completed in the next few months. 

In the 2015 fiscal year, the department is expected to review existing hiring practices, as well as compensation and benefits packages, to attract qualified job seekers. Additionally, Human Resources is likely to invest in professional development programs to improve job skills, leadership and productivity. 

Director Janeann Allison told City Council last week the city has 618 full-time employees and 136 part-time workers. She added that 89 job postings have been made since July as the city looks to fill vacant positions. 

The department also has set a priority of completing a multiyear audit in the coming fiscal year. It is hoped that doing so will help streamline practices and ensure compliance with legal requirements. 

Finally, Human Resources will focus on reducing costs and injuries related to on-the-job accidents. The department hopes to create a system to track time losses for injuries, as well as increase safety training and review the performance of the city’s Safety Committee.

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